Simon Cohen

Inspired by the leadership of Mandela, the science of happiness, and the wisdom of babies, Simon Cohen made history when he gave away his £1m company to be a stay at home dad.

The story of the Open Leadership Exercise (OLE) and the ‘£1m company giveaway’ was covered all over the world. Some called it madness. But what’s of most value? Chances are it’s not something that can be bought. It’s your partner, your children, your friends. How much would you give to have one more day with a loved one who passed away? Money is just one part of the value spectrum. It’s a means, not the ends.

His audacious and integral approach to business and talent management is internationally lauded; he discusses breaking free from conventional HR wisdom and working on instinct, emotion and intelligent management.

Simon's career began in media buying, before moving into newspapers and marketing and at the age of 24, he set up his ethical communications agency, Global Tolerance; working with people committed to positive social change. This was inspired by the unfair portrayal of Muslims in the media after the tragic events of September 11th 2001.

Becoming a highly respected leader in intercultural and peace communications, Simon believed passionately in his business, but was still unhappy with his work-life balance and wanted to spend more time with his young family.

Simon has been recognized as one of the most influential professionals in the PR industry by PRWeek. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Global Interfaith Visionary by the Temple of Understanding.

As well as business, he applies his strategies in the wisdom field, representing world leaders and thinkers including the Dalai Lama and Gandhi’s grandson, and has a regular non-religious Pause For Thought segment on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 show. A regular commentator in the international media, he has written for Newsweek, Washington Post, The Times, and The Guardian. 

He has received grants from UnLtd and the Millennium Awards Trust as a leading social entrepreneur. His experience working with symbiotic communications, complex decision-making, work-life balance and happiness management, and analysing trends and futures, allows him to encourage companies to take time-out in order not to burn out. His real-life examples (in Greece people work 2000 hours a year and in Germany 1400 hours – with 70% higher productivity) are effective in encouraging business leaders to take innovative routes to change.

He continues to work at the cutting edge of where technology and communications meet meaning.

His speaking topics include:

- Breaking away from conventional HR wisdom

- Instinct, emotion and intelligent management

- Complex decision-making

- Work-life balance and happiness management

Read More